Capt. Pete Rapps
As May rolls out and June rolls in, we begin our summer fishing season and enter into our four warmest months of the year. With midday time air temperatures now hovering around 90 degrees each day, your best bet for fishing the shallow flats will be to start early in the morning before both the peak heat of the midday sun, and the almost daily afternoon showers.
We are now fishing mostly on the outside flats and shorelines and have pretty much left the farther backwaters for the summer. The Snook will be feeding along the beaches and near shore troughs. You can “match the hatch” and throw them some nice live Thread Herring or Pilchards, or you can fish both soft and hard artificials that resemble these live baits.
Redfish are roaming the outside oyster bars looking for little crustaceans on the bottom. Try throwing them a live shrimp on a 4/0 circle hook under a popping cork. Keep ringing that dinner bell by popping that cork every 5-10 seconds.
Look for Tarpon in the shallow grass flats as they are looking to eat during the coolest hours of the day – morning and evening. I like to toss out a small live ladyfish, or large Pilchard or Thread Herring on a baitrunner reel. I like to use 40 lb braided line, tied to 6’ of 50 lb fluorocarbon leader, and a 6/0 circle hook. Set that reel into baitrunner mode, waitfor the strike, and don’t forget to point your rod tip at the Tarpon as it jumps. You want it to be able to pull drag when it’s out of the water or the hook will pull out.
Trout are around in good numbers. Fish the flats on the incoming tide with your favorite bucktail jig, Gulp shrimp, or just about any other soft plastic jig tipped with a small piece of shrimp. Once you find a couple of nice fish, throw out a marker and either anchor up on the spot, or continue making drifts past the same spot.
Mangrove Snapper are also in good numbers around the mangrove roots. All you need for them is some live shrimp threaded on a small 2/0 hook. The trick to hooking the snapper is to let them take the shrimp for a few seconds before reeling in.
Captain Rapps’ Charters & Guides offers expert guided, light tackle, near shore, and backwater fishing trips in the 10,000 Islands of the Everglades National Park, and Tarpon-only charters in the Florida Keys. Capt. Rapps’ top notch fleet accommodates men, women, & children of all ages, experienced or not, and those with special needs. Between their vast knowledge & experience of the area, and easy going demeanors, you are guaranteed to have a great day. Book your charter 24/7 using the online booking calendar, and see Capt. Rapps’ first class web site for Booking info, Videos, Recipes, Seasonings, and more at www.CaptainRapps.com